Blog of Rights

Cassandra
Stubbs

Cassy Stubbs is the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Cassy joined the project in 2006 and since then has served as lead and associate counsel on behalf of death row inmates and defendants in trials and appeals throughout the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Her clients have included Levon "Bo" Jones, a North Carolina death row inmate who was exonerated in 2008 when the state dismissed all charges against him, and Richard C. Taylor, a severely mentally ill man who was sentenced to death after a sham trial in Tennessee, but who won a new trial on appeal and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

Cassy has also worked with numerous organizations and ACLU affiliates to file amicus briefs in capital cases in state and federal courts around the country. She has written policy papers, editorials and blog posts on a wide range of capital issues, such as the persistence of racial disparities in capital punishment and the fundamental flaws of purported claims that the death penalty deters future murders.

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm
Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.
Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:19pm

According to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Henry Lee McCollum deserved to die for the brutal rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie. There's just one problem, and a frequent one in death penalty cases: Henry Lee McCollum didn't do it.

Instead…

Scott Panetti

Texas Wants to Kill This Mentally Ill Man

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Wearing a cowboy costume and a purple bandana, Scott Panetti defended himself at his capital trial in Texas without counsel, where he tried to call the Pope, J.F.K, and Jesus Christ to the witness stand. In Tennessee, Richard Taylor represented himself…

Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 9:55am

The most important payment we can make on the debt we owe to wrongfully convicted defendants is to break the link between race and the death penalty.

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

The logical response to Clayton Lockett's bloody, pain-filled, unconstitutional execution in Oklahoma eight months ago would be to prevent such torture from happening again. But Oklahoma has another idea for its first execution since Lockett's. Instead…

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:57pm

Serial, the pop culture podcast phenomenon, isn't just a well-produced and addictive listening experience (though it is both of those things). By questioning the validity of some criminal justice procedures and educating its listeners to ask questions,…

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

In 2009, North Carolina made history by becoming the first state to pass a law that addressed the systemic problems of racial discrimination in jury selection in capital cases. In the three years since the Racial Justice Act (RJA) was enacted, this…

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:21pm

Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in…

Race Contributes to Wrongful Convictions

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:28am

An unusual collection of advocates, exonerated men and a crime victim gathered this week in Raleigh, North Carolina, to highlight the role that race plays in wrongful convictions. The group filed an amicus brief in the case of Melvin White, an…

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

For just over three years, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull out in front of states that still have the death penalty...

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